Douglas John Bowen

Douglas John Bowen

Douglas John Bowen is Managing Editor of RAILWAY AGE. He also served as Editor of Intermodal Age from 1989 to 1991, and has held various positions at Inbound Logistics magazine, High Speed Transport News, The Journal of Commerce, and CNN/Money. Bowen began his journalism career at the Asbury Park Press, a New Jersey daily newspaper. A graduate of Rutgers University, Bowen resides in Hoboken, N.J. He served as president of the New Jersey Association of Railroad Passengers (NJ-ARP) from 1987 to 2000 and again from 2004 to 2010, serving on the NJ-ARP board from 1984 until 2012; he remains a member of the statewide organization.

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Monday, 12 December 2011 11:23

CN, locomotive engineers near accord

Canadian National and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference have reached a tentative agreement to renew the labor contract for approximately 1,800 CN locomotive engineers in Canada.

AECOM Technology announced that a joint venture between AECOM, its Tishman Construction arm, and STV, Inc. was awarded a $19 million contract by the Moynihan Station Development Corp. in partnership with the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011 03:08

FTA grants more funds for UTA LRT

Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff on Monday personally announced a grant of $116 million to Utah Transit Authority to extend UTA’s TRAX light rail transit line from Sandy to Draper, Utah.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011 06:45

STB examines UP tariff on TIH commodities

The Surface Transportation Board announced that it has initiated a proceeding to determine the reasonableness of “certain tariff provisions requiring shippers to indemnify Union Pacific Railroad Company (UP) against future liabilities, other than those resulting from UP's negligence or fault, when UP transports toxic by inhalation hazardous (TIH) commodities.” STB is inviting participation by the public.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011 05:51

DEIS eyes LRT for Bergen County, N.J.

New Jersey Transit Tuesday posted the release of its Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for rail service in the Northern Valley portion of Bergen County, N.J., across the Hudson River from New York City. With the standard no-build option as a baseline, NJT outlines two light rail transit options, each an extension of the existing Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Transit (HBLRT) service now reaching as far north as North Bergen (Hudson County), N.J. 

njtˍlogo.jpgEach of the two options would extend HBLRT north into Bergen County for the first time. One option would terminate in Englewood, while the second “preferred” option would end one municipality further north, in Tenafly. The choices selected may be in large part political in nature, since Tenafly officials have voiced continual “concerns” over any potential LRT presence in the borough. 

Publication of the “Northern Branch Corridor” DEIS by NJ Transit is the first public action taken by the corporation since plans for a trans-Hudson rail tunnel were terminated by Gov. Chris Christie late last year. NJT officials repeatedly had suggested at public hearings that an eventual “one-seat ride” would be possible for Northern Valley residents to Manhattan via the new tunnel, even though no specific plans were ever drawn up for such a possibility and motive power compatibility was a significant obstacle for such implementation. 

Repeatedly urged by state rail advocates to reconsider its position, NJT in July 2009 instead announced it intention on extending HBLRT instead, per still earlier plans.

NJT will hold public hearings in late January for comment on the DEIS.

Monday, 10 August 2009 06:58

Deadline looms for Huron Central Railway

Communities lining Ontario’s North Shore are racing to beat an Aug. 15 deadline to preserve freight rail service on the Huron Central Railway, linking Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury. A committee formed to implement a rescue plan says any measure would require infrastructure investment by senior levels of the provincial government.

 

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Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.-based Huron Central has said the short line needs more than C$33 million (US$30.3 million) in upgrades to make it feasible. The company, a subsidiary of Greenwich, Conn.-based Genesee & Wyoming Inc., also said it could not continue to operate the line at a loss.

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New Democrat Tony Martin, minister of parliament (MP) for Sault Ste. Marie, said, “This rail corridor is vital to all communities in northern Ontario,” adding that Ontario needs “the kind of rail transportation plans that the other provinces have are where the province and Ottawa are directly involved.”

 

The plan at present requires a “buy-in” from municipalities and rail customers, but Martin insisted the region also needs a commitment from the provincial and federal governments to establish … such a plan.”

 

But the Ontario Northland General Chairperson's Association believes a better solution, both for the short and long term, is to have Ontario Northland Transportation Commission assume control of the rail line. 

Wednesday, 25 February 2009 08:50

Transit market buoys Wabtec fourth-quarter profit

Crediting strength in its transit and transportation markets, Wilmerding, Pa.-based Wabtec Corp. Wednesday said it posted fourth-quarter net income of $31.1 million, or 64 cents per share, on sales of $405.2 million. That compares with net income of $28.7 million, or 58 cents per share, on sales of $365.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2007, or a 9% jump in fourth-quarter profit. Per-share results were short of analyst expectations of 65 cents per share on revenue of $391 million.

The Obama Administration Thursday unveiled a budget plan that identifies $5 billion in funding over a five-year period for “high speed” passenger rail projects in the U.S., supplementing the $8 billion it provided in its stimulus package for a two-year period.

Thursday, 26 February 2009 09:24

Portec pleased with 4Q, full-year results

Portec RailProducts, Inc. Thursday said its unaudited fourth-quarter net income was $1.5 million, or 16 cents a share, up 32% from $1.15 million in the fourth quarter of 2007.

Facing $45 million in service cuts targeted for light rail and bus operations by March 30, St. Louis officials are seeking ways to apply $12 million in federal stimulus funds to blunt the budget knife. The $12 million, if able to be applied to operations, "means that close to a quarter of the deficit will be resolved if this switch goes through, and that's going to go to restoring service," said D.J. Wilson, a spokesman for East West Gateway Council of Governments, in St. Louis.

Friday, 27 February 2009 05:26

Austin rail debut faces further delay

Austin, Tex.’s Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority says testing and training for its 32-mile passenger rail line is behind schedule, and could further delay the route’s operational debut, currently set for March 30.

The slump continued for U.S. railroad freight traffic during the week ended February 21, compared with traffic in 2008, the Association of American Railroads reports. U.S carload freight fell 14.2% from the comparable week in 2008, with declines of 12.8% in the West and 16.0% in the East.

Monday, 02 March 2009 07:04

Connecticut DOT chief: We need LRT

Citing the successful re-introduction of light rail transit to cities nationwide, Connecticut Transportation Commissioner Joseph Marie has called for the Nutmeg State to invest in LRT to keep the state economically competitive.

Southwest Signal Engineering Co. announced Monday that it has changed its corporate name to Xorail Inc. (pronounced "Zo-rail"). The move complements the company’s actions last September, when the provider of signal and communications services to the railroad industry and other sectors formed a separate construction subsidiary, called Xorail Construction Services, which specializes in construction services for railroads.

Dapco Technologies, a service arm of Ridgefield, Conn.-based Dapco Industries, has been renamed Nordco Rail Services to emphasize the company’s role in both rail diagnostic services and engineering. The company also announced a new president, Chris Smitka, and has relocated to a new facility in Lee’s Summit, Mo.

Manhattan’s redesigned and repositioned South Ferry subway station, the recipient of $530million in rehabilitation, will open March 16, New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority says.

 

The upgraded station, served by the No. 1 (ex-IRT) line, will offer more streamline and sheltered connections with the Staten Island Ferry terminal at Battery Park. It also now will offer free transfers to the R and W lines at nearby Whitehall St. Station.

 

The new terminus can accommodate 10-car trains, eliminating the need for subway conductors to urge riders to reposition themselves in the first five cars of a train due to platform constraints.

 

A projected January opening was postponed after contractors and the MTA discovered the gap between the new platforms and train doors were wider than specified by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

 

The project, part of MTA’s $15 billion capital construction program, originally was expected to cost $490 million.

 

Gov. David A. Paterson Monday released the 2009 New York State Rail Plan with a "comprehensive strategy forsupporting freight and intercity passenger rail service."

The plan includes “an inventoryof freight and passenger rail system infrastructure needs in New York Statetotaling more than $10.7 billion over the next 20 years. “ It also outlinespriorities for the award of funds from the $9.3 billion dedicated to intercityrail in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, as well as funds that willbe included in the reauthorized Federal Transportation Act that’s due next Oct.1.

Patterson was joined by StateDOT Commissioner Astrid Glynn in announcing the plan, which they described in astatement as “providing the first comprehensive update of the state’s railstrategy in 22 years and fulfilling requirements for federal funding for railcapital improvements."

The plan lists these specificgoals:

“Doubling the number of intercity rail passengers along New York’s three major corridors:New York City to Albany, Albany to Niagara Falls and Albany to Montreal, as well as strategies to increase reliability on all three corridors.

"Providingfrequent and convenient passenger rail service connecting cities across theState as an energy and time-saving alternative to driving or flying. 

"Achievingon-time performance of at least 95 % between Albany and New York City.

“Improvingrail service between Albany and Niagara Falls, with connections in Utica,Syracuse and Rochester. (The Plan also includes a Third Track Initiative, forwhich funding has not been identified, which would establish a dedicated newtrack for high speed passenger rail service from Niagara Falls to Albany.)

“Shorteningthe travel time for rail service between Albany and Montreal. Currently, trainstake about eight hours to make that trip. The s goal is to reduce that time to6.5 hours.

“Establishingnew passenger service where viable, such as between Saratoga and Albany, NiagaraFalls and Buffalo, and Binghamton and New York City.

“Increasingfreight rail usage by 25% to reduce growth of truck traffic and energyconsumption.

“Allowingmodern freight cars to access the New York City metro area and Long Island alongroutes east of the Hudson River.

“Addingat least three new intermodal facilities/inland ports across the state to servethe rapidly growing container segment of rail traffic, which will help removelong-haul trucks from highways and deliver products to consumers faster.

“Creatingthe first ‘green’ short line fleet in the nation.” 

Excludingthe third track initiative, the “priority” infrastructure projects areestimated to cost $671 million over the next five years and are expected to beeligible for federal funding assistance.

House Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), a longtime rail advocate, commented: “Today’s announcement ofa state rail plan is truly historic. For decades, I have worked on this issueand have long awaited a forward-looking and comprehensive policy to guide andimprove the region’s vast rail network. This is big news for both passengersand freight, and it could have a major, lasting effect on our economy.”

 

House Resolution [H.R.} 233, the Railroad Antitrust Enforcement Act of 2009, currently being considered by Congress, would damage the public interest and severely distort the relationship between regulation and antitrust laws, the Association of American Railroads said Tuesday.

New Jersey Transit Wednesday said it will debut  rail service between Hoboken Terminaland Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., via Secaucus Junction, beginningSunday, July 26, when the CONCACAF Gold Cup Final title soccer match isscheduled.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009 06:12

Two short lines tap 10East PMMS system

10EastCorp. announced Wednesday that both the Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad and theBelt Railway Company of Chicago have chosen the company’s RailDOCSTM PreventiveMaintenance Management System (PMMS) in support of preventive maintenance andgovernment compliance logistics for their signal requirements.  This includes the Tests &Inspections System and the Configuration Management System.

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